(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama went on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Wednesday and incorrectly claimed that the abortion-provider Planned Parenthood does mammograms, a false assertion he has made before, notably during the second presidential debate on Oct. 16.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as CNSNews.com has reported, has confirmed that no Planned Parenthood facility in the United States is licensed to do mammograms.
On “The Tonight Show,” Oct. 24, President Obama discussed how politicians should not be involved in women’s health care decisions, saying, “And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election. You’ve got a Supreme Court that — you know, typically a president is gonna’ have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term.”
“And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance,” said Obama. “You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms -- all kinds of basic health care.
As the National Cancer Institute explains, “A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease.”
In order to perform a mammogram, a health care facility must use mammography equipment that is licensed by the FDA.
Back in April, the Alliance Defense Fund filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), asking for “All currently active certificates to operate a mammography facility issued by the FDA or by any state or entity designated to provide such certificates by the FDA for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any entity whose name included ‘Planned Parenthood.’”
The HHS responded in a letter on June 4 that said, “In your request you asked for the following, all currently active certificates to operate a mammography facility for Planned Parenthood. In response to your information request, we have performed a thorough and diligent investigation of our records and there are no adverse events for these firms. Unfortunately our search did not uncover any documents pertinent to your request.”
In other words, no Planned Parenthood facilities are licensed to own and operate mammogram machines.
Nonetheless, as on “The Tonight Show,” President Obama said during the second presidential debate on Oct 16: “When Gov. Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care; they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.”
Even Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards implied that her organization offers mammograms in an interview last year. On CNN’s “Joy Behar Show” on Feb. 21, 2011, Richards was asked about a House bill to end all federal funding to Planned Parenthood and she said, “If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning. You know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer.”
In addition to the information provided by the HHS and FDA that Planned Parenthood facilities are not licensed to perform mammograms, a PolitFact report from Sept. 11, 2012 confirmed that Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms but can refer women to other, independent health facilities that offer the service.
As to the assertion that Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms, the PolitiFact said, “We rate the claim True.”
Lila Rose, founder of the pro-life group Live Action, said of President Obama’s claims about Planned Parenthood, “Last night on the Jay Leno program, President Obama once again misled the public and in particular women, continuing his false advertising campaign that the nation’s top abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, provides mammograms at its clinics.”
“The fact is that while Planned Parenthood, which receives almost half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer funds, does over 300,000 abortions a year at its clinics, it does zero mammograms,” said Rose. “According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, no Planned Parenthood clinic in the country is authorized to perform mammograms under the federal Mammogram Quality Standards Act.”
“Planned Parenthood is spending over $10 million on President Obama's re-election,” said Rose. “It is clear that the president does not want to extol the hundreds of thousands of abortions his friends at Planned Parenthood do each year with the help of taxpayer funds but he must cease and desist misleading woman with the lie that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion-provider in the nation. According to its own fact sheets, Planned Parenthood performed 985,731 abortions between 2008 and 2010 – 329,445 in 2010 alone. Planned Parenthood also receives taxpayer money every year and got $487.4 million in 2009-2010.